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iFCP networking best practices

This is a Q&A from SAN School Lesson 8.
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What is the "best practice" when building a network for an iFCP?

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The best practice is to provide the iFCP WAN connection with the correct amount of bandwidth to handle PEAK loads across the connection. The idea is to have a balance in WAN network costs and data throughput requirements. If you have a good understanding of timeframes for peak workloads and IF your WAN vendor provides the ability to lease bandwidth on demand, you should be able to maximize the utilization of your links vs. the monthly costs for those links.

Let's say you know that the last Tuesday of every month is used for month-end batch processing and your bandwidth requirements increase during those periods. If a T1 connection handles the normal daily traffic across the link but the month-end processing requires a T3 link, your WAN vendor may be able to charge you for the bandwidth you actually use for the entire month, providing T1 bandwidth normally and then increasing that bandwidth to T3 speeds during month's end.

Check with your WAN vendor to see if they can provide this "sliding scale" access to the links for your lease. Hey, if you have the budget, then Gig-E is always a great thing to have!


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The views and opinions expressed by Christopher L. Poelker are his alone and not necessarily shared by Hitachi Data Systems.

This was first published in May 2004

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